250,000 Losing Health Coverage in North Carolina

Date: November 01, 2016

BCBSNC is lone remaining insurer for 95 percent of state and will raise rates 25 percent.

It’s an unfortunate scenario that has become all too common nationwide: Insurers pull out of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, citing tremendous losses. Remaining insurers hike rates. Consumers are left to find new insurance or pay exorbitant premiums. And unfortunately for North Carolinians, they are facing the worst of it.

 More than 250,000 people in the state are losing their health plans because two insurers—United and Aetna—are dropping out, reported The Washington Post. That leaves 95 percent of the counties to depend on one remaining insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), for coverage. BCBSNC also debated leaving, but recently decided to stay and is raising premiums by 25 percent.

 The dwindling of coverage is hitting the Southeast the hardest, according to The Washington Post. In addition to North Carolina’s woes, Alabama and South Carolina will also rely on one insurer statewide, as will three-fourths of the counties in Florida and four-fifths of the counties in Mississippi. North Carolina also saw more residents using ACA coverage than many states to begin with: upwards of 600,000.

In the aftermath, individuals and small businesses statewide are left waiting to see if they will be able to afford health coverage in 2017.

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